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Guy Gavriel Kay
For Darkness Shows the Stars
Diana Peterfreund
How to Dance with a Duke - Manda Collins If you follow me on Twitter you may have seen me tweeting about How To Dance With A Duke while I was reading it. There are two occasions in which this happens: either I'm REALLY enjoying it or I'm really not. Unfortunately, the second was true in this case.

I just have to say it: How To Dance With A Duke was slightly ridiculous. At one point I asked myself if it was ridiculous enough to be amusing, but that point passed fairly quickly. And then it was also just basically somewhat boring.

I mean, I like a good wallflower-turned-beauty story, but in this case I just didn't believe it. Also, the whole novel started of with a sort of game of conversation-avoidance tag between the two main characters and it left me going HUH??
Cecily and Lucas are supposed to be two rather smart characters. Then why in the world would they think it's a good idea to start having sex when someone's locked them in a room in a place they weren't allowed in the first place and just when they find the key?? I mean, I get that they needed a reason to be forced to marry each other (or rather, I don't, cause people get married without being forced to as far as I know), but this was just ridiculous. Besides, they'd only kissed once and that was it. It felt off.
I was also annoyed that on more than one occasion we had Cecily tell us that Lucas had whispered 'loving things' in her ear without actually knowing what he said. And for all her smarts she had some really ditzy and too-stupid-to-live moments.

Another thing that made me snort with its ridiculousness (this has Cecily looking at Lucas' 'male member'):
"To Cecily's mind it was rather a shame that he was forced to hide such an impressive specimen with clothing. Though she could understand that perhaps it might get in the way during day-to-day activities."
And then a few lines later:
"Your... er... appendage is very elegant, Your Grace."

REALLY?? I mean, seriously? SERIOUSLY? I cannot even comment on this beyond that.

Even though I didn't like Cecily at all, I did like Lucas. Sure, he didn't come across as intelligent as he supposedly was, but he seemed like a decent guy and he obviously was more in touch with his feelings than Cecily was. I liked that he put his foot down when she was trying to push him away and was all angry male. One thing that did annoy me about him is that he had this war injury and walked with a limp. This in NO WAY impaired him during all his activities except for dancing.... Yes, consistency and all that.
The backstory and the mystery were okay, I figured out whodunnit pretty early on. The whole climax felt a bit, well, anti-climactic to me. The bad guy is just a crazy man who is supposedly very dangerous but is on the other hand incredibly easy to get away from, even if Cecily probably isn't strength personified.

All in all, I was just not very impressed and it did get some smiles from me, but unfortunately I don't think these moments were meant to be laughed at.

My rating: 1,5 stars